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KATH commissions two oxygen plants, saves hospital huge cost

BY: Daniel Denu
The newly commissioned oxygen plants at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi. Below: Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare (2nd-left) being assisted by Mr Simon Osei-Mensah (3rd left) to unveil the oxygen plant
The newly commissioned oxygen plants at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi. Below: Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare (2nd-left) being assisted by Mr Simon Osei-Mensah (3rd left) to unveil the oxygen plant

The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi now has its own oxygen plants, with a combined production capacity of 2,496 cubic metres of oxygen a day.

In 2001, the Ministry of Health (MoH) bought an oxygen plant for the hospital, but over the years its production capacity reduced to just five per cent.

That compelled the hospital to rely on private suppliers for oxygen, which came at a huge cost that the hospital authorities put at an average of GH¢12,000 a day.

The two new plants, valued at GH¢454,000 and commissioned at a ceremony in Kumasi yesterday, have brought relief to the management and staff of KATH.

The plants, financed by the hospital, have a combined production capacity of 2,496 cubic metres of oxygen a day, as against the hospital's current total oxygen consumption of 1,875 cubic metres per day.

The production capacities of the new plants are about six times more than the 22-year-old oxygen plant which has since been decommissioned.

Besides, they have over 600 cubic metres in excess of daily needs.

The excess is to be sold to other health facilities which may be in need of it.

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Government’s plan

The Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, who commissioned the plants, said their installation was in line with the government's plan of making Ghana a health tourism centre in the West African sub-region.

She commended KATH for adopting a pre-financing module to secure a loan for the plants to be repaid through its internally generated funds (IGFs).

She called for support for KATH, particularly its Mother and Baby Unit, to save the lives of pregnant women and babies.

KATH CEO

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KATH, Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso, who gave a brief on the plants, said when the government gave approval for the hospital to go ahead with the pre-financing module, the management launched a tender process that led to the contract being awarded to Rikair Company Limited, which was one of the seven companies that put in bids.

He said the plants had been running in perfect condition since May 27, this year, supplying to all the units that needed oxygen.

He expressed regret that oxygen plants bought for the hospital by the Ministry of Health got burnt in the Central Medical Stores fire in Tema.

Challenges

Dr Owusu-Danso said KATH was faced with serious challenges which needed to be addressed to ensure effective and efficient service delivery.

He mentioned, for instance, critical diagnostic equipment such as CTC scan and MRI scan machines which had become old and needed to be replaced.

He appealed to the MoH to assist in that regard, "even if it means exploring similar opportunities for a pre-financing module or placement contract.”

Dr Owusu-Danso commended the government and Parliament for approving a 155-million Euro loan for the completion of the Mother and Baby Unit at the facility that he said, had been abandoned for the past 44 years.